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Swarm prevention with a flow super

I have used a few different methods including splitting but not with a flow super, only traditional supers where frames can be swapped between the boxes if needed.

i am asking if anyone has done swarm prevention when the flow super is on, without splitting and pulling frames out to another hive/nuc. I guess a demaree could work if i can get to the brood frames in the top box after the brood has emerged but before they backfill it with nectar to rotate it back into the bottom box while still keep the whole colony together.

Cheers
Eric

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Hi Eric, we need to access the brood for swarm prevention. Bees like to store their honey above the brood, which means the flow super works better on top. So the short answer is, you need to remove the super.

Cedar filmed a video recently where he performed a split as preventative action against swarming : Live Flow Hive split - with Cedar & Mira

Prevention is better than cure as they say…

Are you willing to experiment for us?

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I have done a split before and not looking to use that option. Looking for another method that doesnt involve splitting or taking out frames to another hive/nuc. Want to keep the colony intact similar to a demaree.

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Hang a swarm trap above the hive… :joy:

A demaree is basically a split except that you place the brood boxes on top of each other instead of a few meters apart.
I suppose you could try a demaree with the flow super on top of the top brood box and traditional supers in between both brood boxes. It might work. After all the flow hive is just a different way of extracting honey. All else should be the same.
Once the 25 days have passed and you are re-uniting the colony, you could place the traditional supers that were in the centre beneath the brood box for the bees to use.

No idea if this works, but I dont see why not.

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One of the things I’m going to start doing is requeening at the end of our flow season, May(ish), with a new queen to overwinter for the next season. This should reduce the likelihood of the hive swarming the next season.

Adam

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Hey Adam. Wouldn’t that be a bit risky so close to the end of the season? Or are you planning on buying new queens? You don’t want to overwinter without a queen.

Very interested in that method if I can understand the risk in doing so.

I’d use queens that I knew where newly mated by buying them or producing them. I’m going to be doing some grafting so can manage the risk.

Adam

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Hi @Ericm, @skeggley put forward a plausible strategy here:

Keep bees busy and happy, that way they will stay a little longer :wink:

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Thanks. Have tried it before and you are right that one works :+1:t2: I had to crush and strain. Didnt have freezer space to kill any wax moth eggs.

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That is the potential issue is see to Skeggley’s method, which is a variation of the OSBN method, from a Flow Hive point of view. You cannot put those frames in the super due to the non-standard configuration. Unless you have a Hybrid like Skeggley… You have to make sure the honey is all capped before you take them, and in mine I never saw the end frames fully capped

I am going ahead with that method regardless. If you have more than one hive you can probably combine this method with a partial split - put together one nuc from two hives. Just take one brood frame from each hive, plus honey, so you won’t weaken it too much and still get a decent amount of honey.

Yeah for me crush and straining is messy and a waste of good comb, I can’t bring myself to buy an extractor.
These frames can be used in splits though. :crazy_face:

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DIY extractor…

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Hi Eric, have you considered Taranov method?

I have not. Will read up on it. thanks